Get it together: Your diet
Fast-food nutrition info, how to buy local, and more food- and diet-centred websites
- Create your own cookbook. At tastebook.com, you can make a personalized cookbook complete with your favourite recipes, family photos and more. Gather your own recipes or personalize a collection “curated” by editors at websites such as allrecipes.com.
- Make healthy substitutions. Type in the words “healthier recipes” on the search engine at mayoclinic.com for ideas on substituting certain ingredients with others for greater health, without compromising taste.
- Lose weight (digitally) with Richard Simmons. No need to see his signature short shorts! Go to sirius.com/richardsimmons and download his Lighten Up Program—which stresses a balanced diet, exercise and a positive attitude. Then tune into Sirius Satellite Radio—a commercial-free radio service for $13 a month—on Sundays from noon to 6 p.m. for motivation, advice and recipe ideas.
- Find out how much fat is in those fries. If it’s a medium order from McDonald’s, that’ll be 20.36 grams. Type in any food, from homemade to fast food, at nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/search, to get a complete nutritional breakdown.
- Test your label savvy. Nutrition labels are mandatory on all pre-packaged foods, but you may not know what they mean for your health. (Look for zero grams of heart-harming trans fat, for instance.) Search for “nutrition label” at hc-sc.gc.ca to get a tour of the label format and a short quiz. Zeer.com is also a good resource for product nutrition information.
- Convert recipe measurements correctly. No more guesswork when you’re trying to convert ingredient amounts between Imperial and metric measurements. Visit gourmetsleuth.com/conversions.htm. Gourmet Sleuth also sells a hand-held version of the calculator for $24.
- Choose the right restaurant. Before you make your next dinner reservation in Vancouver, Toronto or Calgary, see urbanspoon.com. It gathers critics’ reviews, posts some menus and reveals candid user-generated comments. Chowhound.com also offers unvarnished opinions from Canadian food lovers.
- Connect with other foodies. Do you want to know how to make nachos similar to those at your favourite Mexican resto, or whether you should use oven-ready lasagna noodles? Check out the recipe exchange at Reader’s Digest’s allrecipes.com and get answers from cooks all over North America. Meanwhile, epicurious.com offers Epi To Go, which allows you to search from more than 25,000 recipes, create shopping lists and keep track of your favourite recipes with your cellphone.
- Savour fresher, more nutritious food. If you want to buy local, key your postal code into 100milediet.org/map to outline the 100-mile radius around you. (If you live in Vancouver, for example, you may decide to say no to vegetables from Kelowna, B.C.) Eating foods produced within 100 miles means fresher produce, and less gas and oil burned to get it to your table.
- Get nutrition news on your homepage. Click on RSS at the top of whfoods.org to add nutrition updates to your browser’s bookmarks or your Yahoo or iGoogle homepage. The non-profit website, devoted to healthy eating, also boasts cooking demonstrations and an interactive food advisor that will tell you if you’re getting the vitamins and nutrients you need.
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